Affordable housing and community space is coming for Métis families in Greater Victoria.
The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) announced that a recent land purchase will soon be the location of supports and affordable housing for Métis families in the region.
The purchase — totalling $2.2 million provided under the Canada-Métis Nation Housing Sub-Accord — will see the construction of below-market-rate rental housing and early learning and childcare programs for Métis families at 3656 Raymond Street South in Saanich, according to a press release from the MNBC. They say it will also provide office space for the Métis Nation Greater Victoria (MNGV).
MNBC minister of education Debra Fisher says the purchase of the land is a ‘pivotal moment’ for their nation.
“Building a network of Métis early learning and child care programs is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history,” said Fisher. “Ensuring that Métis children can attend early year programs at facilities that are culturally relevant and exposes them to the rich heritage we hold so near to our heart will have a long-lasting, positive effect on their lives. A dream come true.”
The MNBC is partnering with the MNGV to collaborate on housing and the early learning and childcare programs.
President of the MNGV Caitlin Bird says finding appropriate housing has been a challenge for many Metis in the community and hopes it will provide a new sense of community.
“Our vision is for this to be a community space, where Elders can connect with young ones in the child care centre, and families and community in the building,” said Bird.
“This building will also offer a space for our community to gather for potlucks and cultural activities. Having childcare, community events, office space, and housing close together is an important part of supporting our community’s wellbeing.”
The land’s purchase is a part of the MNBC’s goals of creating Metis centres across the province.
The MNBC represents 90,000 Metis people in B.C. and approximately one-third of the Indigenous population in B.C.